Russian hackers sold exploit, analyst says

Security vendor Kaspersky Lab says it appears two or three Russian hacker squads sold a WMF exploit for US$4,000.

Security vendor Kaspersky Lab says that it appears two or three Russian hacker squads sold an exploit for the WMF (Windows Metafile) vulnerability that raised alarms in December.

Criminal gangs sold the exploit on specialized sites for US$4,000, wrote Alexander Gostev, senior virus analyst at Kaspersky, in a report on virus activity for the last three months of 2005. It appears someone discovered the vulnerability around Dec. 1, and exploit code emerged shortly afterward, Gostev wrote.

One of the purchasers of the exploit was involved in the adware and spyware business, Gostev wrote.

The WMF vulnerability was unique since no patch existed when it was publicly detailed, he wrote. Microsoft initially told customers around the end of December to wait for its monthly patch update in January, while security researchers warned the flaw could be used to steal data on infected machines and use those computers to send spam.

Security analysts also endorsed an unofficial patch created by programmer Ilfak Guilfanov. Microsoft ended up issuing a patch ahead of its regular schedule after critics argued the delay was giving hackers more time to work.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?